SP's LandForces - - SP’S EXCLUSIVES - —SP’s Spe­cial Cor­re­spon­dent For com­plete ver­sions log on to: www.sp­s­land­forces.com

Starved of ar­tillery for nearly three decades, the In­dian Army’s how­itzer jinx is all set for an irony that no for­eign ven­dor may have an­tic­i­pated -- the first ar­tillery pieces to en­ter ser­vice after decades of drought, are to be In­dian de­signed and In­dian built. The In­dian Army has been ap­proved to pro­cure 40 Ar­jun Cat­a­pult tracked self-pro­pelled ar­tillery sys­tems, sport­ing the proven Ar­jun tank chas­sis and an M-46 130mm field gun tur­ret. The gun has a max­i­mum in­di­rect fir­ing range of 27.4 km and di­rect fire on tar­gets upto 1.4 km. Am­mu­ni­tion on the gun is a high ex­plo­sive shell with vari­able fuze set­tings. Two pro­to­types of the gun have been demon­strated to the Army at the Ma­ha­jan Field Fir­ing Range. While the Army re­quires far more ca­pa­ble sys­tems with 155mm/52 cal­i­bre gun bar­rels, it has de­cided to in­duct the Ar­jun Cat­a­pult as a ro­bust sys­tem that is, in ef­fect, a un­der-gunned ver­sion of the ear­lier pro­posed Bhim, that would have sported a 155mm Denel gun tur­ret. The Ar­jun Cat­a­pult sports STANAG Level II pro­tec­tion and an in­te­grated fire de­tec­tion and sup­pres­sion sys­tem.

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